Friday, September 01, 2006

60 minutes Report on the Danger of Field Food

This is a real warning. I didn't believe it myself when I first heard it, but there lurking in the field food is an actual danger.

Pictured Above: 2006 Canadian Nationals Mixed Final - Camelot (Montreal) vs. Chaos (Winnipeg). Picture form Diep.

Recently, for a tournament in London, I put together a team of people staying and going to Nationals. We had a great time, but I later found out that one of us actually suffered for the weekend. No, it wasn't sun stroke or dehydration. The problem, apparently, was potassium poisoning.

The culprit, Taylor (made up name to keep anonymity), had started to cramp, heard the wise comments that bananas can help with cramping, and proceeded to eat 9 bananas. Apparently, 9 s too big a number, and after eating a bunch of other food he suffered for the next 2 days. Whether it was the additional food or the bananas is inconclusive, but there is such a thing as potassium poisoning (hyperkalemia).

So, I'm not a doctor (yet) or have any medical knowledge, but I think the classic statement, "Everything in Moderation" applies to field foods too. It would be interesting for someone to create a diet for exactly what a person should eat at a tournament to achieve optimal performance. Obviously, overeating bananas is not.



Anonymous said...

This "Taylor" guy seems like a bit of an idiot. Wow, what a loser.

Ofer said...

From wikipedia:
"Intoxication with salt-substitute, potassium-containing dietary supplements, or potassium-chloride (KCl) infusion. Note that for a person with normal kidney function and nothing interfering with normal elimination (see above), hyperkalemia by potassium intoxication would be seen only with large infusions of KCl or massive doses of oral KCl supplements. "

I rutinely suffer from electrolyte deficiency at tounaments (including he london one, though I am not "taylor" :D) and try to eat enough bananas and salt... to no avail. While PJ is right in pointing this out, I don't think it was the potassium in the bananas. I did hear that eating too many can get you constapetated, though...

Jeters said...

Good points Ofer. I'm still suspect of nine bananas being a factor. It might not be potassium poisoning, but somethings smells fishy.

Where are the nutrionists and doctors?


Anonymous said...

Note: I am not a nutritionist or a doctor

If he had too much potassium, he could have just played extra hard to use it all up. Sounds like banana weevil rot to me.